Review – Infinite – Beyond the Mind

It’s been a long time since the Metal Slug series came onto the scene. It’s been even longer since a game came in and tried to turn that formula on its head. With a breath of fresh air, and minimal expectations, it’s time to dive into Infinite – Beyond The Mind, which if you were unsure, has some Metal Slug-styling and implements its own way of handling things.

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Who wants to play battleship?

Starting off simply, the art style is shot for shot, pixel for pixel, dead on with how Metal Slug was. The enemies, how they spawn, and their attack styles are also quite similar. So from a basic enemy stand point, Infinite is basically a Metal Slug clone. Luckily, that’s where the similarities end. The first key difference comes in the combat style. While enemies are soldiers with guns, grenades, and whatever else, your character is purely melee. You need to run up and punch these guys in the face if you want to kill them.

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What type of military only has tank PROTOTYPES!?

That being said, another key difference is the “if you want to kill them”. Whereas in other games of this style you practically need to kill all enemies in order to progress, since they kind of stand in your way, Infinite is different. In Infinite, you have the ability to dash through enemies and bullets, much like most bullet-hell style games. Outside of some areas where you need to clear a few enemies (and the game makes these areas obvious) and bosses, you actually don’t need to kill anyone. It’s actually so easy to run through enemies and levels that it would almost make this an amazing game for speedrunning. Now it just needs a community that wants to do it.

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“No mommy, don’t do it again, don’t do it again, I’ll be a good boy”

The levels in Infinite are all fairly decent in length as well. If you’re playing the game normally (killing enemies in the way, not rushing, and looking around), you’re probably looking about five to ten minutes per level, depending on how much you struggle on any given boss. If you’re rushing through the levels and able to tackle the bosses consistently, chances are each level will only take you about three to four minutes. On the note of bosses, there’s a boss about half way through the game called Mirabelle Bramann, who has the ability to fly and shoot orbs. Mirabelle is a massive pain in the ass.

This is the point in the game where there’s a sudden spike in difficulty. Up to this point, you might die like once or twice, nothing too special, but this is the point where the game got real. After this fight you also enter “epiphany one” where you essentially get wings, you can spin slash in air which will make bullets disappear, it speeds up your runs. It also marks the point where the game becomes more aggressive. Much more enemies, spikes and barbed wire all over the place. Time to watch your step.

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My first epiphany: “maybe taking on an entire military force myself isn’t the wises choice”

Beginning to end, Infinite – Beyond The Mind was a ton of fun for such a small game. So much so, it is a game even I would consider trying to learn to speedrun now that I’ve played through it. It’s fairly cheap as well, and as much as I noted its similarities to Metal Slug, the game will quickly distinguish itself as its own piece of work. A great play for anyone who’s a fan of platformers and for anyone who may be interested in speedrunning.

Graphics: 8.0

A very nice looking and distinguishable game with subtle throwbacks to its influences

Gameplay: 9.5

Everything about Infinite is so smooth. It has a nice level of challenge and feels good when you finally knock out those pesky bosses.

Sound: 6.0

The soundtrack to Infinite matches the game, but nothing particularly stands out. It’s not an OST I would find myself listening to outside of when I play the game.

Fun Factor: 8.0

Walked in expecting a Metal Slug clone, left with something much different. It’s hard to argue with a game that forges its own identity so neatly.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Infinite – Beyond the Mind is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Infinite – Beyond the Mind was provided by the publisher.

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